Deciding to stay at a Orlando area resort, rather than at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel is often referred to as staying “off-property.” Many people who frequently visit the Walt Disney World theme parks have a very strong opinion about if you should stay on-property or off-property. There are pros and cons to both; each family must decide for themselves what is most important to them while on a Disney vacation! While I have covered my opinion on the Value of Value Resorts, I finally decided to TRY staying at an off-property hotel- The Maingate Lakeside Resort.
Our trip to Walt Disney World was going to be so short this time, and when we originally booked our trip we thought we would be getting in VERY late. I decided we could save some money by staying off-property for one night and then move to Disney’s Pop Century Resort the next day. As it turned out, we were able to leave much earlier than expected and arrived at Maingate Lakeside Resort earlier than planned.
I love to read reviews on Trip Advisor, and while Maingate Lakeside Resort did not receive the best reviews, the price for one night was too good to pass up. I felt that we could deal with anything for one night, right? I was pleasantly surprised that Maingate Lakeside Resort was a decent value as well as a suitable hotel for our family.
The staff member that checked me into the hotel was pleasant and gave me information about the hotel and surrounding area. I could see that they had a restaurant right off the lobby. There is a ticket counter across from the check-in desk where one can purchase tickets for area theme parks and attractions. I noticed they had a sign with the courtesy shuttle options that they offer for hotel guests. We had our own car and would be transferring the next day, so I cannot speak to how well this works, but it’s nice to know they have the option.
While this is not a place I would choose to stay for a whole week of a vacation, the room size was very large and we had plenty of space. The hotel is in need of a good renovation, as it is very dated. But the beds were comfortable and I felt that our room (Rm 1111) was in fairly good condition.
There is a pool (with a pool bar!) located on the property of the resort; however, we spent our evening at Disney Springs. It was a very short drive to Disney Springs and fairly easy to get there. The next morning, I was nervous about how quickly we would be able to drive to Pop Century to check into that resort before heading to Magic Kingdom for the day, so we left shortly after 6am. In case you are wondering – it took us less than 20 minutes from Maingate Lakeside Resort to Disney’s Pop Century. We checked into the resort and had PLENTY of time to make it to our Advanced Dining Reservation at 1900 Park Fare. Don’t miss reading about our magical opening experience that morning!
Have you stayed at Maingate Lakeside Resort or another “off-property” hotel in the Orlando area? Please share your experience in the comments below or join our Magical DIStractions Facebook group where you can tell the Magical DIStractions team all about your experiences! We love to interact with you, so make sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+. You can also sign up for Magical DIStractions newsletter and watch videos on our YouTube channel.